Property sales slump amid Brexit uncertainty.

Property transactions fell by 12.4 per cent compared to July last year.
Property transactions fell by 12.4 per cent compared to July last year.
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The number of residential property sales slumped by 8.5 per cent between June and July, and is 12.4 per cent lower than July 2018, according to official figures from HMRC.

Residential property transactions totalled 86,630 in July, according to the report, which studied transactions over £40,000 in Scotland, England and Wales.

Experts said the fall was a combination of the usual summer slump in transactions - combined with uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, said: “What we are seeing at present is the usual summer slump in transactions being exacerbated by Brexit uncertainty and a refusal by sellers to transact at a lower price than they may have secured before the referendum."

Josef Wasinski, co-founder of Unmortgage, said: “This fall in property transactions indicates the continued struggle of many people still unable to buy their own homes. These figures do little to disguise the grim reality that, for many, the dream of stepping onto the property ladder is still out of reach.

"The ability of first-time buyers to leave behind their ‘reluctant renter’ status and become homeowners is proving difficult for many. Unless there is real change and a long-term effort to provide new and alternative routes to homeownership, people will continue to struggle.”

Andrew Montlake, managing director of the UK-wide mortgage broker, Coreco, said: “Against such a backdrop of uncertainty, it’s inevitable that there are fewer residential property transactions, but we’re finding that those going through are far better quality and are getting across the line quicker.

“Buyers and sellers transacting in the current market are very committed, while lenders are awash with cash and keen to get money out of the door."

He added: “It may even be that residential property transactions pick back up in August and September, as a lot of prospective buyers are wary that house prices could rebound if no-deal proves not to be the end-of-days scenario many predict.